Tonight was leader appreciation night. And I guess there has to be balance in the universe, because along with all the love, food, and gifts we were getting from the directors and parents (thank you, sweet Tiffany and others!), we were getting all kinds of craziness from the kids as well.
And by "craziness," I mean the maniacal-clown-laughing-in-a-horror-movie-just-before-he-slays-the-town kind of "craziness."
The other leaders and I have a theory that there's some kind of narcotic in the air in the room in which we have the game time. Because as soon as the kids passed through the doors, they turned into tiny frenzied demons, intent on torturing all the leaders with their high-pitched screams, perpetual jumping, and an evident need to always be poking each other. OH, THE POKING!
And our poor interim game director, Owen, had absolutely no hope of getting the kids to listen to the rules of the game. Most of the time he was just standing in the middle of the floor, helplessly doing the 5-count and no doubt praying as the kids rioted with their torches and pitchforks.
I'm not going to lie - had it been my first night at Awana, I might not have returned another week. And my rule about "annoying versus harmful?" Went right out the window.
"Girls! You need to back up! You're going to trip someone! Quit poking each other! Stay in line! Emily, stop tackling Christina! Give me back the beanbag! Madison! Let go of Jenny's hair! No, you can't get a drink of water. No, you can't take your shoes off! Why are you taking your shoes off? I just said no! Fine! Just go put them out of the way. Wait - where's Catherine? Please stop poking me! If I see you acting like this in counsel time, you're going to be in BIG TROUBLE, ladies."
By the end of game time, I was curled up in a corner in the fetal position and sobbing, throwing my car keys, wedding rings, credit cards, and all the cash I had in my purse at the kids and screaming "TAKE WHATEVER YOU WANT! JUST PLEASE DON'T HURT ME!"
I'm pretty sure I'll still show up next week. Surely they won't be like that two weeks in a row, right? (RIGHT!?) Still, I'll be sure to have lots of Advil in my purse and wine in my fridge next time... just in case.